Thursday, 16 May 2013 08:46 PM
By Todd Beamon
The Internal Revenue Service official charged with overseeing tax-exempt organizations when conservative groups were targeted for extra scrutiny now runs the agency’s office responsible for implementing Obamacare.
Sarah Hall Ingram was commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations from 2009 to 2012, ABC News reports.
But now, ABC says, Ingram is director of the IRS' Affordable Care Act office, a move that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said was "stunning, just stunning."
Ingram's successor, Joseph Grant, said he would retire on June 3. He served as deputy commissioner of the tax-exempt unit during some of those years.
Obamacare has 47 separate provisions that involve the IRS. It is the second-largest agency, after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, charged with implementing the act.
The IRS has to implement Obamacare's required purchase of health coverage, checking whether millions of Americans are in compliance.
The GOP-controlled House voted 225-to-125 to repeal Obamacare. It was the lower chamber's 37th vote to repeal President Barack Obama's healthcare law.
House Speaker John Boehner said he had "serious concerns" about whether the IRS was empowered as the law's chief enforcer.
"Fully repealing Obamacare will help us build a stronger, healthier economy, and will clear the way for patient-centered reforms that lower healthcare costs and protect jobs," the Ohio Republican told ABC.
"Obamacare empowers the agency that just violated the public's trust by secretly targeting conservative groups," Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., said. "Even by Washington's standards, that's unacceptable."
And Sen. John Cornyn introduced the "Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013" in the debate leading up to the Obamacare vote. The legislation would prohibit the secretary of the Treasury -- or any designate, including the IRS -- from enforcing the law.
"Now more than ever, we need to prevent the IRS from having any role in Americans' healthcare," the Texas Republican told ABC. "I do not support Obamacare, and after the events of last week, I cannot support giving the IRS any more responsibility or taxpayer dollars to implement a broken law."
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